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Accreditation: Penn State Landscape Architecture Programs

Program Details

Programs accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) are required to provide reliable information to the public. Programs must report on accreditation status and its performance. This information is to help potential students make informed application decisions.

Penn State’s B.L.A. undergraduate curriculum and our M.L.A. graduate curriculum both are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. The mission of LAAB is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in landscape architectural programs. LAAB establishes standards that ensure that current and future practitioners understand, obtain and maintain the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice landscape architecture in the future.

Students in the B.L.A. program can complete the degree in 4.5 years (139 credits). Students in the M.L.A. program can complete the degree in three or fewer years, depending on whether they have a professional undergraduate degree or majored in a non-affiliated program.

As with other professionally accredited landscape architecture programs, Penn State’s B.L.A. and M.L.A. undergo accreditation review every six years. The B.L.A. was most recently reviewed in spring 2017, and obtained glowing praise from the accreditation team. Our M.L.A. program was initially accredited by LAAB in 2013, and the next accreditation visit is scheduled for spring 2020.

More information on LAAB can be found via asla.org/accreditationlaab.aspx.

Program Rankings

DesignIntelligence 2019–20 Design Program Rankings
Penn State B.L.A. – #1 nationwide

DesignIntelligence 2019–20 Design Program Rankings
Penn State M.L.A. is – #7 nationwide

Penn State 2019–20 Landscape Architecture skills assessment nationwide rankings:

Skills B.L.A. M.L.A.
Project planning and management #1 #9
Interdisciplinary studies #1 #9
Research #1
Engineering Fundamentals #2 #6
Communication and presentation #2 #10
Construction methods and materials #2 #5
Design Technologies #3 #8
Design, theory, and practice #3
Practice management #3 #9
Sustainable built environments #3
Transdisciplinary collaboration #3

View all DI ranking focus areas

Landscape Architecture student standing in the middle of her portfolio piece.

Awards

+ Student Accomplishments

Our nationally-renowned department is recognized for student-centric educational excellence and innovative research. The department enjoys a fine reputation for scholarship produced both by individuals and by teams and research centers. Following are a few recent achievements of our programs’ students.

2019

Landscape Architecture Foundation National Olmsted Scholar Program

PA–DE American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Awards

2018

National Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) Award

PA–DE ASLA Awards

2017

National ASLA Award

PA–DE ASLA Awards

  • Broadway Avenue, Beechview (Pittsburgh, PA): Green Infrastructure Concept Plan
    Lauren Shoats, Honor Award, General Design Category
  • Future Ground: The South Area of the Philadelphia Zoo Masterplan
    Tongtong Zhou, Honor Award, General Design Category

2016

National ASLA Award

2014

PA–DE ASLA Awards

2013

National ASLA Award

PA–DE ASLA Awards

  • Revival of the Wooland Ave. Corridor, Pittsburgh, PA
    Christopher Chiampi, Honor Award, Community Service Category
  • Flexible Futures, Sullivan County, PA
    Christoper Maurer and Michael Humes, Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category
  • Connect5,  Mang’ula, Tanzania
    Sean Lyons and Chris Maurer, Merit Award, Analysis and Planning Category
  • Examining Sustainable Development Options in Jersey Shore: A Community Engaged Process, Jersey Shore, PA
    Preston Linck, Kirsten Hardy, Thomas Kyd, and Dina Mahmoud, Merit Award, Community Service Category

Program Information

Demographics

Gender Undergraduate Graduate
Female 54% 78%
Male 46% 22%
Race/Ethnicity Undergraduate Graduate
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Asian 7% 47%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Island 0% 0%
Black/African-American 3% 0%
Hispanic/Latino 6% 0%
White/non-Hispanic 79% 47%
Mixed (Two or more races) 2% 0%
Unknown 3% 6%

NOTE: Race/ethnicity percentages only reflect domestic students.

Residency Undergraduate Graduate
PA Resident 51% 25%
Non-PA Resident 49% 75%
Origin Undergraduate Graduate
Domestic 75% 42%
International 25% 58%

Degrees Statistics

The B.L.A. and M.L.A. programs at Penn State have awarded the following number of degrees over the past five years.

Degree Level 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
B.L.A. 33 27 25 26 28
M.L.A. 2 5 6 2 3
Total 35 32 31 28 31

Graduation Statistics

Graduation Rates B.L.A. M.L.A. M.S. in L.A.
Number of semesters to complete degree (regular) 9 6 4
Graduated within regular timeframe 92% 100% 50%

Graduate Employment Statistics

B.L.A.

  • 65% – Private LARCH Employment
  • 20% – Higher Education (study or employed)
  • 15% – Unknown

M.L.A.

  • 73% – Private LARCH Employment
  • 18% – Higher Education
  • 9% – Unknown

Costs of Attendance

Estimated cost of full-time attendance for one year.

B.L.A. Resident Non-resident
Tuition and fees $18,454 $34,858
Room and board $11,570 $11,570
Books and supplies $1,840 $1,840
TOTAL $31,864 $48,268

 

M.L.A. Resident Non-resident
Tuition and fees $21,960 $37,694
Books and supplies $1,840 $1,840
TOTAL $23,800 $39,534

Note: These are estimates. For a personal estimate, students are encouraged to use the Tuition and College Cost Estimator.

Anjelyque Easley sits among faculty and peers explaining a project

Alumni Spotlight

Demetrios Staurinos

Alumni Spotlight

Demetrios Staurinos

B.L.A. in Landscape Architecture 2002

Demetrios Staurinos, RLA, ASLA, is an associate at OLIN, a landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm with studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Demetrios has received awards from, among others, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Architects and American Public Works Association. He is driven to improve the built environment by embellishing the “happy accidents” that occur when a thoughtful design meets the playful interactions of daily life.

Overhead view of people walking on pathway through landscape architecture design by Demetrios Staurinos.
Overhead view of riparian landscape architecture design by Demetrios Staurinos.
Large group of people enjoying a sunset gathering in an urban landscape architecture design by Demetrios Staurinos.